Calculate Your Maximum Rent

The 40-times Rule

Most landlords want to see that your income is more than 40 times the monthly rent. So take your pre-tax, annual income (salary, bonuses, dividends), and divide that by 40. That's the maximum rent you'll be approved for. Some landlords will allow you to combine your income with your roommates' income to hit this 40-times threshold.

50 times the monthly rent? That's crazy!

Because some landlords have more than enough qualified applicants, many will require tenants to make 50 times the monthly rent. Welcome to New York.

Not quite meeting the 40-times or 50-times threshold?

When your income doesn't meet the 40-times requirement, you may have one other option: a guarantor.

Budget for the broker fee

If you'll be using an agent, you'll likely need to pay a broker's fee. Remember to budget for that cost, which will be between 8 and 15 percent of a full year's lease. (Assuming a 15 percent fee, if your rent is $2,000 per month – $24,000 per year – you'll owe the agent $3,600. Agents expect payment in full at the time of signing.)

How much rent can you afford?
FIG 1.2: Rent-to-income ratio